Let me start out my review by saying: stick with it, the book gets better.
I just finished reading Close My Eyes at 2:35 AM. I received this book as aLet me start out my review by saying: stick with it, the book gets better.
I just finished reading Close My Eyes at 2:35 AM. I received this book as an ARC, through a goodreads.com giveaway. Honestly, I don’t usually write reviews of books, and after the first hundred pages I was worried about my first review being overall negative. Fortunately for me, the second half was much better.
For the longest time, I struggled to read this book. It just did not grab me. Perhaps I had a difficult time with this book because I found the main character, Gen, to be so completely obsessed with one event in her life that to me she became unsympathetic. There comes a point fairly early in the book where one of her friends has some good news to share about her own pregnancy, but is afraid to even say it around Gen because she is still so depressed that eight years later everyone is walking on eggshells around her. Seriously, this would be a sign of a serious mental issue, which everyone seems to be allowing continue with out attempting to help.
As I was reading the first half of this book, I found myself getting angry at Art, the narrator’s husband. He and his wife went through a tragedy eight years before, and she was not able to pick up the pieces of her life and move forward. In that time he became very successful. Why wasn’t he insisting that his wife go to therapy of some kind? At one point she mentions going to a therapist and group therapy and gave reasons for why they did not work for her. Is there only one therapist in London? Is it possible that there is only one group for someone who has miscarried or suffered a stillbirth? Why would he accept that his wife was depressed for eight years?
Another character that was really getting on my nerves was her best friend Hen. When you see your supposed best friend falling apart, why would you decide to keep secrets from her?
The only likeable character in the entire book was the main character’s love interest, Lorcan. He was fun, supportive, and seemed to be a fairly decent guy, in kind of a sleazy antihero kind of way.
I did not care for the writing in this book. Part of that is the first person perspective. As I said before, I could not identify with, let alone like, the main character. She was whiney, wishy-washy, and overall annoying. She was very realistic, just not someone I would want to spend time with. Since the book was entirely from her point of view, it was like being stuck with a bad roommate in college, you just try to focus on the things you like about them and when the school year ends get away as fast as you can.
The thing about this book that stands out as good, from my perspective, was the plot. While I could dismiss most of the red herrings, until very late in the book I could not decide if there was an actual mystery or if she was crazy, or both. I do not want to give away the ending, but I did not see the chain of events that lead to everything coming. It was a little on the made-for-TV movie side of believable, but because the plot was finally moving somewhere I was able to beat my disbelief into submission. The thing that was truly amazing was the epilogue. I was chilled by it. That was very well done.
However, the only way for that to work is if quite a bit of time had passed, and that much time is what makes me question the sanity of the people around the main character.
Overall, I wanted to like this book. I was excited by winning. I guess, this is just not my cup of tea. However, I can see where there is enough in this book for other people to absolutely love. If you love it, more power to you. I might recommend this book to a few people who like dark psychologically based books, but only with reservations.
I switched back and forth between two and three stars. I was prepared to give it one, but the ending saved it. After thinking about it for a while though, the fact that I had to make a conscious choice to suspend disbelief kept it from getting three stars. ...more